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Quotations about Liberty and Power

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Few people are willing to call a spade a spade. Frank Chodorov however is one of those people when he calls taxation a form of robbery which has been obfuscated by intellectuals and politicians for centuries. Writing at the end of World War Two, when the state had grown prodigiously and taxation and debt levels had risen accordingly, Chodorov thought he could see a pattern in all this: the steady increase in taxation would ultimately lead to socialism. One might compare this with Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom written in 1944 which comes to a similar conclusion.

Other quotes about Taxation:

5 March, 2007

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Frank Chodorov argues that taxation is an act of coercion and if pushed to its logical limits will result in Socialism (1946)

Read the full quote in context here.

Frank Chodorov argues that taxation is an act of coercion which violates individual rights to property and, if pushed to its logical limits, will result in the ownership of all production and property in the hands of the state, i.e. Socialism:

All this argument, however, is a concession to the obfuscation with which custom, law, and sophistry have covered up the true character of taxation. There cannot be a good tax, or a just one; therefore, every tax rests its case on political power. And the power behind every levy fattens on its collections, while the power of the individual is commensurately weakened. The ultimate of the progressive process of taxation is the absorption of all production by the state—which is the ideal of socialism.

The full passage from which this quotation was taken can be be viewed below (front page quote in bold):

Whenever it declares itself on the subject of taxation, socialism shows how well it knows its stuff. The Pharisees of that order have pointed out how the bourgeois system of “forced dues and charges”—as the Encyclopedia Britannica describes taxes—can well bring about the abolition of private property. It is a device for both siphoning capital out of citizens’ pockets into the coffers of the state and discouraging the accumulation of capital. In that they are eminently correct, even though, characteristically, they avoid mentioning the greater peculation of wages. But, since the end justifies the means, they are strong for taxes, the bigger the better.

The scribes of what we call capitalism, neither as knowing nor as honest, have gone about camouflaging taxation with theories, canons, sanctimonious justifications, and, of course, a library of laws, until its mask has become its true face. When you unmask it, by means of reason and historical investigation, you see that taxation is highwaymanry made respectable by custom, thievery made moral by law; there isn’t a decent thing to be said for it, as to origin, principle, or its effects on the social order. Man’s adjustment to this iniquity has permitted its force to gain momentum like an unopposed crime wave; and the resulting social devastation is what the socialists have long predicted and prayed for.

The fact of taxation was known long before it was so named. If the thing was referred to by any particular word, it must have been some prehistoric counterpart of swag. The Danes who made periodic collecting visits to their neighbors called Dannegeld. However, a name and a theory are unimportant to the unsophisticated brigand who takes what he likes; both become important only after the browbeaten victim learns how to buy peace at a price, and the brigand finds it nice to put himself on a par with the merchant. The path of skulduggery is made easier with a coating of morality, which is aptly applied to an established custom, by the lawyer and the professor of economics. And so, the business of taking what does not belong to you has been well obfuscated by a “philosophy” of taxation. …

All this argument, however, is a concession to the obfuscation with which custom, law, and sophistry have covered up the true character of taxation. There cannot be a good tax, or a just one; therefore, every tax rests its case on political power. And the power behind every levy fattens on its collections, while the power of the individual is commensurately weakened. The ultimate of the progressive process of taxation is the absorption of all production by the state—which is the ideal of socialism.

[More works by Frank Chodorov (1887 – 1966)]